BuildDirect Blog: Life at Home

Concrete: Not Just for Sidewalks Anymore

Concrete decor Concrete: Not Just for Sidewalks AnymoreI remember well the first time I heard someone mention using concrete in their home. A neighbor had just had a concrete countertop installed, and my mind immediately went to my garage floor (which was heartily cracked) and the sidewalk outside my house (a light gray color that wouldn’t look at home in most kitchens). But then I saw the countertop with my own eyes — a gorgeous, smooth, polished light blue color that didn’t look anything like the concrete I was so accustomed to seeing.

Since then, my view of concrete has changed. No longer is it a material relegated to outdoor spaces or foundations or even garage floors. Now concrete is everywhere, from walls to countertops to shelves and even the furniture itself. Here are a few of the more surprising ways concrete can be used in your home decor.

Artwork

Everyone has seen the plethora of yard ornaments and garden decor available at any home improvement store, and you might have seen sculptures made from concrete. More sophisticated, polished versions of these concrete delights can be taken into the house for a wonderful way to incorporate the look of concrete with the more plush areas of your home. For instance, a handsome elephant sculpture might fit well beside a plush couch that needs some hard lines to temper the look.

Furniture

Lighter forms of concrete are now perfect for small pieces of furniture in the home. Living room tables, end tables, benches and even dining room tables are a great way to incorporate concrete in a way that looks fantastic and offers a conversation piece. For an ultra-modern home, concrete chairs and couches are also good options — you can soften the look and make it comfortable with large cushions designed to fit.

Bathroom Fixtures

The uses of concrete in the bathroom go beyond floors, walls and countertops. Basins made of concrete can look fantastic alongside the highly  polished faucets, and showers created of decorative concrete not only offer beauty, but longevity that is second to none. The star of the show could be the bathtub, which can be cast of concrete for a unique look that offers the custom size and design you want.

concretefloor6 Concrete: Not Just for Sidewalks Anymore

Pressed concrete flooring

Fireplaces

Though concrete has been used for years in creating fireplaces, modern concrete can be molded into something even more striking. Concrete works as an excellent fireplace material because of its fire-resistance and excellent blockage of heat, meaning you can include things above the fireplace — such as decorative pieces on the mantel or even a mounted television — without worry about the heat destroying it over time.

Home Accents

Concrete is so popular that now it shows up in very unlikely places. How about a shelf that is made of concrete? What about a lamp base? Or a nice wine rack? Vases and planters might not be surprising applications for concrete, but you could be surprised to find picture frames made of the hardy material. Any home decor you can imagine, from dishes and bowls to lamps and doorknobs, can be made of concrete.

To add to the lure of concrete, the price means it is often among the more affordable options. If you’re interested in home decor that allows you individuality and stands the test of time, concrete should definitely be on your “must look” list.

 

Shannon Dauphin Lee

Shannon Dauphin Lee is a journalist and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real estate. When she's not writing, she and her husband are taking road trips to explore covered bridges, little wineries and quaint bed-and-breakfast inns in their beloved Pennsylvania.Shannon Dauphin Lee on Google Plus.

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